Young people in Massachusetts deserve to have all the resources and education possible to live their fullest, healthiest lives. At the Pro-Choice Massachusetts Foundation, (PCMF) we believe comprehensive sex education in schools allows young people the opportunity to make informed decisions about consent and sexuality. However, we know comprehensive sex education is not uniform across Massachusetts high schools.
Anecdotally, we know that Massachusetts students report that the sex education they receive falls short. For that reason, PCMF is taking on a research project to fully understand the curricula utilized in sex education classes across the Commonwealth.
We are asking all Massachusetts’ school districts to respond to a survey regarding the sex education curriculum used in their schools and provide us with a copy in order to understand what the curriculum teaches. Best practice shows sex education curriculum should be age appropriate, medically accurate and LGBTQ inclusive. It should also teach consent, the benefits of delaying sex, healthy relationships, and prevention of pregnancy and STIs.
Our goal is simple: Create transparency in sex education curriculum across Massachusetts.
Here is what you can expect from PCMF and our work to understand sex education in Massachusetts. We will:
- Contact the superintendents of the first twenty towns PCMF has identified to complete the survey about their district’s sex education.
- Create and publish a website to host the information collected.
- Continue to contact towns throughout the Commonwealth, with the goal of understanding sex education practices in every school district.
- Update the website as information is collected to create a current look at how Massachusetts stacks up in comprehensive sex education.
“The content and quality of sexuality education instruction vary from state to state. There is even greater variance among states that do not have laws requiring sexuality education, where local districts and individual schools have discretion in whether or not sexuality education is taught and how it is implemented.”
-Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, 2017 Sex Ed State Legislative Year End Report
1 Health and Risk Behaviors of Massachusetts Youth.” Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 2017, www.mass.gov/files/documents/2019/01/09/health-and-risk-behaviors-mass-youth-2017.pdf.